In order that a house may present a good appearance, it is important that a considerable amount of care should be expended on the window-blinds, the uses of which are to regulate the light, protect carpets and curtains, and screen from the gaze of the public. There are many varieties of material which can be chosen; amongst those most in vogue at present are the following:-
These may be bought either in cream or buff, plain or striped, or with a narrow line of red beween the stripes. For durability there is nothing to equal the plain linen, as it is unweakened by bleaching or dyeing, and does not fade, and, being of a neutral tint, it harmonizes with the colours of any room. The usual cost of a pure linen blind of a medium size, including the roller and all the fittings, is from 8/- to 12/-. A valance of the linen, cut into vandyke points and trimmed with fringe, is 1/6 extra.
"DUCHESSE," OR EMBROIDERED BLINDS are made either of woven linen or holland, the embroidery being worked on net of the same shade, and trimmed with Cluny lace. These are more expensive, costing from 21/- upwards. The lace usually employed for ornamenting blinds is of two kinds, viz. Applique", a machine-made lace, and Cluny, which is handmade. The former ranges from a few pence per yard upwards : but it is advisable only to buy a good quality, as the low-priced laces soon become dirty, and while being cleaned are often torn because of the inferior net used in their manufacture.
Cluny lace is hand-made, and worked in linen-thread yarn, and is decidedly the best for this purpose. Its price depends upon the weight of yarn contained in the lace and the elaborateness of the pattern. If the work is not too open, it can be cleaned with perfect safety.
A very satisfactory trimming, with the insertion and lace-edging combined, about twelve inches in depth, can be obtained for 1/4 per yard.
Window hollands are also largely used, because, the dust falling readily off their slippery surface, they keep clean for a considerable time : but they are more apt to crack through alternate exposure to sunshine and rain than those made of linen.
Biscuit-colour holland may be had from 9 3/4d. per yard (the price varying with the width), or a medium-sized blind, with fittings complete, will probably cost from 8/-.
Green holland ranges from 7 3/4d. to 9 3/4d. per yard. Red holland is 9 3/4d. per yard. For a sunny window, colours are not to be recommended, as they are all more or less liable to fade.
UNION BLINDS are made from a mixture of cotton and linen and are therefore cheaper; but, though fairly durable, they become limp more quickly than holland blinds.
These, being covered with a design, do not show the dust so much as those with a plain surface; but like all coloured blinds, they are apt to fade. They are not used largely for good houses except in back bedrooms and kitchens, although, for the front parlour of artisans' homes, they are still in great demand. They cost from 4 3/4d. to 11 3/4d. per yard according to the width.